While at the Gallia County Farmhouse, I looked out the front and saw a large leafless tree on the corner of the field at the bottom of the hill. In the top of the tree perched a large black animal which seemed to be a bear. I screamed for my step-grandfather Clarence. He came, saw the animal and said it was a pole cat.
The animal turned its face toward us. It wasn't like a bear, but it wasn't like a cat either. It had a large, long snout and very dark eyes. It also sported a long hanging black tail with white rings. Clarence said he was going to shoot the animal. I didn't want him to shoot it, but before I could do anything, Clarence had grabbed a gun, left the Farmhouse and walked down to the tree. I followed.
When we reached the tree, the animal began descending and when it had reached the bottom of the tree, it turned, faced Clarence, and snarled with long sharp white teeth. Although the creature was fearsome-looking, I still didn't want Clarence to shoot it.
Three of Clarence's dogs surrounded the animal, but they wouldn't attack. Suddenly Clarence fired his gun at the animal. The animal looked sad for a moment, then fell over dead. I was upset and angry with Clarence. I thought the animal might even have belonged to an endangered species.
Aggrieved, I returned to the house where my grandmother Mabel was preparing something to eat. I angrily gathered some things together, intending to go to my Cabin. Storming past her, I said I wasn't going to eat.
As soon as I was outside, two men approached me and asked if I would get their mail for them. I looked up toward the roof of the Farmhouse and saw (hanging on a wire) a package of mail with perhaps 20-25 envelopes in it. Although I didn't want to get the mail for the men, I said, "Oh all right."
I threw down my things, walked back into the Farmhouse and ascended the stairs to where I was able to retrieve the mail and throw it down to the men. After I had walked back downstairs and was again getting ready to leave, I noticed that some other people had materialized at the bottom of the hill near where the animal had been shot. To my surprise I saw about a dozen more of the animals, all as large as bears – except one which was just a baby. But only about half the animals were alive – about half had already been shot: Clarence was shooting them. I hurried down toward Clarence, intending to try to save the remaining animals. Even though I knew the animals actually were dangerous and could attack someone, I thought they were timid and wouldn't attack unless provoked. I began screaming, trying to scare them away.
Then my father also showed up, apparently also intending to shoot some of the animals. Continuing to scream, I managed to scare away some of the animals. Suddenly, however, I fell into a large deep hole which seemed covered with leaves; I thought the hole might be a den for some of the animals.
By the time I managed to climb out of the hole, my father had boarded a car and was chasing the animals in it. He stopped near me for a moment, and after I had also climbed into the car, he and I immediately began arguing about his trying to harm the animals. I maintained that the animals shouldn't be shot, while he callously asserted that they should.
I finally thought I heard him say he would disinherit me if I tried to prevent the animals' being killed. Being disinherited didn't matter to me; saving the animals was more important.
He and I finally came to blows, physically fighting. For a while, no one was even steering the car, even though the car continued moving down the road. In the turmoil, my father ended up in the back seat, while I grabbed the steering wheel and guided the car into an open field. I then turned the car around and drove it out of the field.
Other cars had been behind us on the road. The cars stopped while we were in the field and when I pulled back onto the road they began following us again. I wondered if the drivers of the other cars knew what was going on in our car.
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